Human Resource Development

Human resource development (HRD) a set of systematic and planned activities designed by an organization to provide its members with the necessary skills and/or competencies to meet current and future job demands. HRD activities should be planned for all employees, regardless of position, from the time they join the organization to the end of their career.

Strategically Aligning HRD

HRD activities must directly support the organization and its strategic goals and objectives. HR professionals have the responsibility to develop programs in alignment with organizational goals and to demonstrate the importance of HRD activities by:

  • Participating in the strategic planning process
  • Providing education and training in strategic planning
  • Linking the outcomes of HRD activities to organizational goals

To support organizational goals, HR professionals must incorporate input from a variety of sources: the business climate, the organizaions strategic plan, upper management decisions, SWOT analysis, and employees. A link to these sources can be established in the strategic planning process.  

HR leaders who wish to implement effective solutions are encouraged to follow these key principles at work:

  • Link HRD learning objectives and outcomes clearly and explicitly to business needs and strategic goals.
  • Maintain a strong customer focus in the design, development, and implementation of all HRD activities.
  • Manage HRD with a systems view of performance in the organization.
  • Measure HRD processes for continuous improvement.

The keys to running the HRD effectively as a core business component of your organization:

  • Link training to business strategy.
  • Focus on business issues, not training content.
  • Adapt to change in the business environment.
  • Promote learning as a way to fulfill specific business objectives.
  • Clarify HRD's business mission.
  • Expose hidden costs.
  • Reduce costs while building reliable processes.
  • Measure what matters.
  • Offer service guarantees.

A Learning Organization is a systems-level concept in which the organization is characterized by its capability to adapt to changes in its environment. A learning organization is one that can respond quickly to lessons of experience by altering organizational behavior.

In a learning organization:

  • learning is accomplished by the organizational system as a whole.
  • Systems thinking is practiced.
  • Employees network inside and outside and organization.
  • Change is embraced, risk is tolerated, and failures are viewed as opportunities to learn.

Organizational learning describes certain types of learning activities or processes that may occur at any one of several levels in an organization-individual, team or organization.

Knowledge Management is the process of creating, acquiring, sharing and managing knowledge to augment individual and organizational performance.

Knowledge Management programs typically focus on two key elements:

  • Expertise in sharing and organizational learning
  • Knowledge retention and recovery of knowledge lost due to employee attrition

Impact of Globalization

Organizations both large and small are increasingly becoming global enterprises. Organizational leaders and senior HR professionals must anticipate and plan for the impact of globalization on their most important asset - human capital. As organizations' boundaries expand and they become more diverse, it is important to create cohesive, aligned, and supportive environments that attract and retain talent.